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Former AOA director will be sentenced

PULASKI — The former director of New River Valley Agency on Aging will find out Wednesday what sentence she will receive for embezzling more than $144,000 from the agency.
Deborah Hughes Palmer pleaded guilty in April to 20 of 38 charges of obtaining money under false pretenses stemming from funds taken from the Agency on Aging over a five-year period from 2001 to 2006. She faces up to 20 years in prison.
Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said he was contacted in August 2006 about “irregularities” in a voucher form Palmer submitted to the agency for reimbursement.
Fleenor asked Virginia State Police Special Agent T. S. Svard to begin an investigation. He said the agent discovered Palmer regularly submitted vouchers for reimbursement for hotel and travel expenses relating to trips to Richmond. However, Svard determined Palmer did not stay at the Richmond Omni nor Richmond Sheraton on the dates the vouchers indicated.
“It became clear her vouchers were fraudulent,” Fleenor said while summarizing evidence in the case.
Fleenor said Palmer admitted to Svard that she created letterheads that would appear to be from the hotels.
Judge Robert Turk ordered a background report on Palmer before sentencing her.
Fleenor said he would seek a prison sentence for Palmer, adding, “This is an extraordinary amount (of money) to be stolen by a person who made a relatively high salary in her position.”
He said what aggravated the situation further is that the money was budgeted for the elderly, so consequently there are numerous “indirect victims of these crimes.”

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Former AOA director will be sentenced

PULASKI — The former director of New River Valley Agency on Aging will find out Wednesday what sentence she will receive for embezzling more than $144,000 from the agency.
Deborah Hughes Palmer pleaded guilty in April to 20 of 38 charges of obtaining money under false pretenses stemming from funds taken from the Agency on Aging over a five-year period from 2001 to 2006. She faces up to 20 years in prison.
Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said he was contacted in August 2006 about “irregularities” in a voucher form Palmer submitted to the agency for reimbursement.
Fleenor asked Virginia State Police Special Agent T. S. Svard to begin an investigation. He said the agent discovered Palmer regularly submitted vouchers for reimbursement for hotel and travel expenses relating to trips to Richmond. However, Svard determined Palmer did not stay at the Richmond Omni nor Richmond Sheraton on the dates the vouchers indicated.
“It became clear her vouchers were fraudulent,” Fleenor said while summarizing evidence in the case.
Fleenor said Palmer admitted to Svard that she created letterheads that would appear to be from the hotels.
Judge Robert Turk ordered a background report on Palmer before sentencing her.
Fleenor said he would seek a prison sentence for Palmer, adding, “This is an extraordinary amount (of money) to be stolen by a person who made a relatively high salary in her position.”
He said what aggravated the situation further is that the money was budgeted for the elderly, so consequently there are numerous “indirect victims of these crimes.”

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